Daily D – Matthew 5:37
But let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ mean ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one.
MATTHEW 5:37 (CSB)
Greg McKeown wrote Essentialism a few years ago. This book is full of wisdom and guidance regarding how to focus on the essential few things we must do. McKeown’s new book is Effortless. He teaches how to make the essential few easy. He helps us learn how to make every decision an easy Yes or an easy No.
McKeown is a lay pastor. Where do you think he might have discovered his idea for an easy Yes or an easy No? This paragraph in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:33-37) is a good possibility.
This Spring I tried to juggle four balls. There is a serious degree of complexity when a fourth ball is added. The best thing that happened all Spring was when I was able to drop the fourth ball. The next time someone asks me to juggle a fourth ball, it will be an easy No. If for some reason it is an easy Yes, I will have to drop one of the other balls.
Overcommitment in what we attempt to accomplish and overcommitment in how we strike agreements have much in common. The most important similarity is that we attempt to do too much. Complexity is not our friend. Simplicity is.
Reading through some legal and financial documents yesterday, it felt as if the legal team who wrote them did not actually want the recipients to fully understand them. Complexity is like that.
Jesus taught those followers gathered around him that day that simplicity makes life better. A simple Yes and a simple No are our two best responses in almost every case.
Someone offered me an opportunity to do something I really enjoy yesterday. It was a last-minute excursion that required an immediate decision. It was an easy No. As much as I would have enjoyed saying Yes, there were other pressing demands I could not change.
The calendar indicates this is going to be a busy week. The good news is that is not all that complex. As long as I keep my No close at hand, I should be able to navigate all that I can see ahead of me fairly well. How about you?
I will commit my life to my faithful, righteous, loving Father in heaven.
Our Father, I easily overcommit. My curiosity and sense of responsibility each drive me toward saying Yes to too many things. Empower me to say Yes to the essential few and no more. Give me the focus I need to attempt and to accomplish what only I can do. Bless me with proper self-restraint. Amen.
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Daily D – 1 Samuel 9:21
1 Samuel 9:21 Saul replied, “But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?”
Daily D – 1 Samuel 7:12
1 Samuel 7:12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”
Daily D – 1 Samuel 3:19
1 Samuel 3:19 As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable.
Daily D – Ruth 2:12-13
Ruth 2:12, 13 “May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” “I hope I continue to please you, sir,” she replied. “You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not one of your workers.”
Daily D – Judges 19:1
Judges 19:1 Now in those days Israel had no king. There was a man from the tribe of Levi living in a remote area of the hill country of Ephraim. One day he brought home a woman from Bethlehem in Judah to be his concubine.